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Neff, Herbert 1918-2007


Posted By: Volunteer Transcriber
Date: 11/4/2017 at 16:26:07

Herbert Neff

Birth: Oct. 16, 1918
Death: Aug. 25, 2007

SOUTH BEND - Herbert Neff, 88, died Saturday, Aug. 25, in the home of his daughter, Eva Nance. Herbert and his wife Ruth have lived in Eva's home for three years under the daytime care of daughter, Barbara Van Damme. Herbert and Ruth have two more daughters, Heide Lind of Belleville, IL, and Stefanie Devan of Ankey, IA. There are 10 grandchildren.

Herbert was born October 16, 1918, in Wolfersdorf, Germany, and grew up in Gruenhain, the first of three boys in the home of a country doctor. Youngest brother, Rainer, died in World War II. Hermann lives in Toronto. Herbert was a 20-year-old signalman in the early campaigns of WWII before completing medical studies in Munich. In 1943, en route to the Russian front, young Dr. Neff was startled by the angelic vision of a girl in white collecting coins for the care of soldiers. It would take three years to win the hand of farm girl Ruth Horsch.

In 1952 Herbert led Ruth and young Eva to Iowa. Medical licensing required a year at the University of Iowa, followed by the Korean War "doctor draft." After the horrors of war in Europe and in keeping with Mennonite tradition, Herbert sought alternative service. This landed him on the back of a donkey in the mountains of Puerto Rico where Ruth and Eva cared for toddler Barbara and baby Heide. Herbert's service in PR culminated with the dedication of a new, modern hospital in Aibonito. For 35 years Herbert was a beloved physician in Guthrie Center, IA, in partnership with Dr. Don Todd. A fourth daughter, Stefanie, would help fill the home on North Street. Every other summer weekend found Herbert and his girls swimming and water skiing at the Todd-Neff cottage on Lake Panorama. Herbert and Ruth built a new house on the lake in 1979. Herbert retired in 1986. Herbert will be remembered as a man of wisdom and kindness. It was with pride and fondness that Herbert recalled his work in helping to create the New Homestead. He and Ruth were lifelong Mennonites who were welcomed into the Guthrie Center Presbyterian Church. In 1993 Herbert and Ruth moved to Arizona. Continuing a life centered on church, family and community, Herbert also found time to complete the translation of his mother's wartime diaries. In 2001 they bought a house in South Bend and became members of the Kern Road Mennonite Church where a service celebrating Herbert's life was held August 31. He requested contributions to Mennonite Central Committee in lieu of flowers. Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret-Lienhart Funeral Home, Wakarusa, is handling arrangements.


Created by: Tom Crago
Record added: Sep 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21780149 ~ Find A Grave.


Guthrie Obituaries maintained by Carla Hilgren.
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